​Sharing an email I received. Please help and advise.

Sharing an email I received. Please help and advise.

I’m not asking if I’m right or wrong. I know this might not be as bad as what some of you have experienced.
I just ask for support. Please do not judge me. I can’t find that kind of support here because Americans don’t know what it is like to be an Indian DIL.
Am I crazy? Am I really self-serving? Is name calling verbal abuse?
Why do I constantly feel like I’m a horrible person for not being able to forgive?

 

Hi IHM,

I’m 30 yrs old working as a Software Engineer in USA. I’m an only child and my parents have gone out of their way for my education and dreams. They raised me with great pride. Growing up I figured I wouldn’t get married because most guys only want to look after their own parents. And if I did get married, I wouldn’t live with my in-laws. I got married about 5 months ago to someone from different cultural background and broke all my rules. And I had never dreamt in my life that that would be the undoing of my life.

My husband is born and raised in USA. When I met him he came across like a level headed, calm, liberal, and progressive. What I did not realize or chose to ignore until I couldn’t anymore that he is a complete mama’s boy. His dad is a recovering alcoholic and growing up his family was dysfunctional. He had told me that we would be living with his family from the beginning, and even though I didn’t want to, I agreed thinking that’s what you do for people you love. His father is sick and they need financial support. I did tell him that that’s not what I want long term, so maybe few years down the line we should get our own place. He agreed at that time. This is before marriage. Initially, everything was great. I used to think that I lucked out with the in-laws if I marry this guy. Things changed quickly.

His parents, as I’m realizing since the wedding, are the typical patriarchal type. Neither completed school. MIL won’t live in jamai‘s house; a bahu is solely responsible for the entire family’s happiness; bahu is also at the bottom of the ladder in the family and has to prove herself; bahu has to respect no matter what; after marriage sasural is where the bahu belongs etc. etc. My MIL made sure to tell me that she’s not like typical Indian MIL because she doesn’t expect me to cook for the whole family or give her foot massage (what decade is she from?!)

There was a LOT of drama from his mother, sister, brother-in-law even before our engagement. This led to huge fights with by husband (boyfriend at the time) because he saw just their point of view. Fights that involved name-calling, yelling and basically making me feel like I’m a horrible person. His family never tried to even ask what the matter was, nothing. Assumption and judgment. And everything was my fault.

I tried to break up, but I was weak to not stand by that decision when he begged me to not break up. Red flag ignored.

Anyway, we ended up getting through and getting engaged. I had already started resenting his family but kept thinking that if he stands by me, then I’ll be ok. I need my partner to be my rock.

The drama didn’t end there. Things like my MIL getting angry that I texted her about my mum’s birthday outing just a day before (and she couldn’t make it. Her opinion is that if I respected her then I would have let her know a week ahead on the phone) leading her to yell at my mom (who was visiting at that time for our Roka ceremony) on the phone, and us having a show down at my place. My husband supported me during that time, somewhat. He still validated his mom’s opinion and actions, which is where it started to go downhill. I agree that I should have been more mindful, maybe I should have called her as soon as the plan was made. I apologized for it. But how is it ok for a MIL to yell over the phone at my mother and tell her that she hadn’t taught her daughter anything? Who gave her the right to yell? And she left telling my mom that I had “issues” and that she has none. So, her actions were justified and it was because of my behavior that she acted that way. See the trend here?

You must be thinking why I didn’t break it up? Indecision. Thinking it would get better after marriage. The many stories from my mother about how much crap she had to deal with. I just figured I could deal with it and I’m strong. My parents basically left it to me. I wish they had put their feet down, but they didn’t. I try not to put any blame on them. Ultimately, it was my decision making or lack thereof.

My husband isn’t a bad person. He helps around the house, kitchen, around the home. He is supportive of my career up to a point, he doesn’t think I should move away if I got a good job offer because he might not be able to shift (because of his family) and he should be my first priority always.  I found this out post-marriage. Different things were assured before.  Name calling and yelling has always been an issue with him during arguments. I have given him many chances thinking don’t abandon the ship just because there is choppy water. But I think I’ve had enough.

Fast forward to wedding planning, his mother hardly contacted my parents for any wedding discussion. Even getting back on dates was an issue, and my husband would just let it be saying “My mom is like that only”. Red flag ignored.

They wanted us to show them “respect” by giving the close relatives tokens of welcome. And, I’m sad to say my parents did. Even when I tried my best to stop them. In return, there was no show of respect for us. We don’t expect gifts, but my MIL’s behavior throughout the wedding was that of her attending the destruction of her world (son). No appreciation for the effort my parents put in to find a place for them to live in, checking in on them when we could, sending them homecooked food etc. etc. All we heard all the time were complaints. They didn’t show much respect for our culture but expected 110% so that they wouldn’t have to hear anything from their relatives! They expected the ladki wale to be at their feet, serving them because they are ladkewale?

On the day of the wedding, immediately after the pheras, my MIL forced me to put on the lehenga she had picked out for me (mind you, didn’t even pack the chunni). When my mom asked her if it was necessary since she had bought my benarasi with great love and would like me to keep it on, she snapped at my mom in front of her relatives saying “Do what you want! No respect for us”. Everyone in the hall noticed it. She made my mom cry, on my wedding day for a stupid lehenga. Rest of the night my MIL acted as if it was the saddest day of her life. My parents had also bought our traditional groom wear for my husband, but his mom didn’t let him wear all of it. Just the kurta under the “designer” sherwani they had got made. So is that not disrespectful towards us? My mom then has full rights to create a scene too like my MIL? But she didn’t. Were my parents sad about it, yes; did they lash out? No.

And what I’m about to write about is probably the day it solidified in my mind that I had made the biggest mistake of my life. My parents, husband and I had gone to visit my dadi since she could not attend the wedding. My dad developed a fever on the way back, so we dropped off my husband at his maasi’s house (he didn’t even want to come to his “sasural” because his parents weren’t with him) and we came back to my house. My dad went to the doctor to get medicine. Within the hour, my MIL calls yelling at my mom that I had disrespected her, I had hurt her by not stopping by (ok, I agree maybe I could have taken 2 minutes to do that and that’s my mistake), how embarrassing it was to find her “married” son come home without bahu, that people have been talking about how I’m not very bahu like, my mom had not taught me anything, and on and on she went. And then she also dared to ask my mom why she was so attached to me especially since I had been living abroad for the last 12 years. What mother asks that of another mother?? Do you love your child less because she lives somewhere else? Or is my mother to prepare mentally that I’m to go away and serve another’s family so she shouldn’t be attached to her child?

I called my husband and demanded to know why his mother thought she could yell at my mother, and he simply defended her.
Later I came to find out he was there the entire time that his mother was yelling at my mother and he lied to me saying he wasn’t there. He justified her behavior, he defended her act. They both blamed it on me and my parents.

No apologies, nothing. And, now I’m living with them. To see them every day is a reminder of everything my parents and I have tolerated. My parents don’t even want to come visit anymore because of my MIL’s actions. I have been called names during fights with my husband, labeled as “selfish”, that I don’t like his family etc. etc.

I have tried to forgive and forget, but I have been unable to. I’m still hurt and my parents are too. I keep thinking that something is wrong with me that I can’t forgive yet. I have been made to feel bad that I can’t forgive, by my husband, who says it’s a mental choice, if one really wants to forgive then they can in a snap. I don’t think so, but I have no one to back me up.

My parents still try to maintain good relations with my husband, and he thinks it’s because he is a great son-in-law. In his family, I have realized that they believe they are wonderful people with perfect manners, and if they act rudely then it’s another’s fault. His mother and sister make decisions for him and don’t even communicate with me. He lets them and if I protest, then he doesn’t understand why it’s wrong because it’s his family. I literally feel like he’s married to his family.

I have ruined my life. The person I thought I was marrying turned out be another family puppet. He has no backbone to call out the wrong when his family does wrong. He will defend them for everything. And sadly I got to see the worst after the wedding not before.

Now I’m at a point where I want to take the control of my life back. I want live by myself, with or without the husband, I don’t want to serve his family or even call them my family. I used to take pride in being a feminist, always fighting for equal treatment. I’m not sure who I am anymore. Every point I feel selfish because it’s not aligned with what my husband/in-laws might want.

Mentally I have decided to separate in a year’s time (my parents are supportive of this decision) and do my best until then. I don’t see myself ever fitting into their mentality, lifestyle etc. I don’t want to have kids and have them grow around my husband’s family. And I don’t want to stay in this family because of kids.

I’m not asking if I’m right or wrong. I know this might not be as bad as what some of you have experienced. I simply ask for support. I don’t think it’s right for my parents and me to have to tolerate and put up this kind of family for the rest of my life. There is no point in counseling because (1) I don’t want to waste my energy and time and time (2) he had made it clear, it’s him and his family together or nothing.

I think I have chosen, but not acted upon it yet.

Like I’ve said, I just ask for support. Please do not judge me. I can’t find that kind of support here because Americans don’t know what it is like to be an Indian DIL.

Am I crazy? Am I really self-serving? Is name calling verbal abuse?
Why do I constantly feel like I’m a horrible person for not being able to forgive?

Just wanted to clarify/add some things.

– I wasn’t fully aware of the extents of the traditional mentality my in-laws have until and after the wedding. I’m sure I must have had seen signs that I ignored, but it didn’t hit home until those words were spoken.

– After coming from the wedding, I had told my husband that I could not live with in-laws who disrespected my family. It really upset him and he called me “selfish” and walked out of the apartment where we were living (moved in with my in-laws after a few months). We had a huge fight where he involved his family and threatened me that if I did not come and settle the matter with his family, then we will end it. I regret not having the guts to end it then. I regret that I let him treat me like that and I went to apologize. I regret sitting and listening to their patriarchal view. I have so many regrets and I feel helpless. 

They complained about my parents not being attentive to them post the pheras (even though it’s not true and I have witnesses), about the bloody lehenga, how in general we didn’t show them sufficient respect etc. etc. I just sat there listening like a coward and did not do anything. I did not stand up for myself or my family. I am so ashamed of myself. All through this my husband just sat there. In his silence, he showed whose side he was on. I did not tell my parents about this until months later after keeping it to myself. I blamed myself for all of it and still do.

– I wonder if I’m in an abusive marriage. It’s not explicit with physical/verbal abuse so it’s so hard to gauge for me. But there is always an undercurrent of tension I feel at all times. Fights almost always involve name calling and yelling especially if it’s about his family. I don’t respond well to yelling at all, so I shut down which makes him further angry. I’m not an angel, I have yelled back too when I reached my limits. Almost anything I say where I don’t want to do something with his family, results in “you just don’t like my family”, “you never want to do… for my family”, “are you telling your mother how depressed you are here?” “if you love me unconditionally, then you should do/accept/act…” “you’re selfish” etc.

And, then comes a honeymoon phase, where I have given into his/their thoughts/opinions, and he showers me with hugs, kisses, and care.

Is it somewhat bipolar in nature?

He doesn’t expect me to cook, clean or wash for him. I can dress as I want, go where I want, meet whoever I want. Yet I have to conform to how he and his family wants to live.

– Even though I said I will wait for a year. I’m not sure why I would do that. I tend to dilly dally a lot. Sometimes I think this year, before the 1 yr anniversary. This is significant because it will bring me no joy. I don’t even want to look at my wedding photos/videos. They only bring back bad memories. Why would I celebrate, esp with his family, 1 yr of the day I wish never took place

Am I beyond help? I’m scared of what his family will do… make me pay for things/rent (since we are renting a house right now) / insult my family and me some more.

From,

Your blog is my support group.

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An email: “I cannot stay in this marriage for society anymore. But I’m so so scared of what people will say.”

Sharing an email.

Dear IHM,

I’m writing this letter mainly to pour my heart out. I’m broken and I don’t know who to speak to.

I’m on the verge of filing for a divorce. I got married in 2012, when I wasn’t even 23. I’ve given more than three years of my life to this relationship and I have nothing left.

I’m tired of taunts, insults and indirect demands by my in laws. My husband does not support me. He does not earn anything as he is involved in his dad’s business, and we depend upon his father financially. Their business is not doing well at all and at the time of marriage, they lied to my family about their income.

My FIL taunts me all the time and my husband has the audacity to say that taunting suits his dad’s personality. My FIL has asked my dad for money a few times but I never let my dad help.

I’m tired. My husband is a spineless fool and I cannot stay in this marriage for society anymore. But I’m so so scared of what people will say. Please help me.

Related Posts:

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Is your relationship healthy?

How much does your neighbours’ third cousin’s uncle’s opinion matter to you?

A daughter in law’s legal rights in her in law’s house are the same as her husband’s rights. Whatever is his, is hers.

“Now I just think of marriage as contract to go serve some stranger family. He made it clear that I could have ended in a much worse situation.”

Should women be given a share in residential property of the husband, including inherited and inheritable property?

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

Can dowry ensure happiness and security for a girl?

Can dowry be compared to inheritance?

My mother in law would accompany me to my job interviews saying I would not be able to find the place on my own.

Sharing an email.

Dear IHM,

I stumbled upon your blog while I was too disturbed with the current state of my so called marriage.

I got married two years ago.

My parents had been looking for a match for me for two years but I couldn’t say a yes to anyone because I had seen so many marriages fail around me. I also have a younger sister, so obviously it was expected of me to get married as soon as possible so she could also be married off. We don’t have a male sibling. Also, I belong to a family where I and my sister were given the freedom of choice and were not controlled by our parents.

Now, when I met this guy, I had made up my mind to marry him because he belonged to a well off decent family or so was portrayed to us. His father made tall claims that they were pretty liberal in letting the daughter in law come home as and when she wishes to, and what not. He also made a phone call to me asking if I would be fine in staying with the joint family since they never ever want to stay separate. I was pretty ok since it didn’t seem like a big deal considering his parents understood that I am very well educated, have a career and belong to a nuclear family. During the courtship I had told him about my education loan which I couldn’t repay since my marriage was fixed soon after my education was over. And he was like I am proud of you that you took your responsibility and that we will take of that together. I also told him if he wants to tell his family, which he said he did. I don’t remember if the loan amount was discussed or not. I also told him that I would want to contribute financially after marriage you know because of my independent nature and high self esteem. I am not the kinds who would want to thrive on anyone else’s money, not even my husband’s.

Even though I had doubts about marrying this guy since he was not as smart as I am and which he himself confessed in a very boorish way, saying his friends call him a ch****a, I was really baffled as I couldn’t comprehend what kind of a man was I marrying. Then, things started becoming bad between us as I started losing respect for him for being what he claimed of himself. I am also short tempered. Just few days before the wedding I visited his place where he tried to dominate me and screamed at me in front of his mother. I was really taken aback. I fought with him the next day and abused him. Also, I said I would divorce him soon after marriage. To which he called both the families and I apologised to him. I, in fact wanted to call off the wedding but was too scared to do that at a very advanced stage.  I couldn’t muster the courage and thought I may have misjudged, and things would fall in place.

After marriage things were not bad. I was gelling well with his parents. However, unfortunately my husband got really busy with his work. Also, since I had to shift to a new place, I left my previous job and became a housewife. This was the only way since my employer did not operate out of the city I moved into. So, I was a housewife, learning the ways of their house. During this time since my husband would work till late night I would not sleep until he would, in order to keep him company. And since he cared for me and my health, he would switch off my alarm in the mornings because of which I would wake up late which irked my MIL.

Also, in the kitchen, she would constantly tell me what to do, how to do, how to peel vegetables how to not use an extra plate to save the maid’s effort, how to dry clothes, etc etc. This, along with citing examples of how other daughters in law take care of their household, are ideal and also work. She would constantly send me whatsapp messages trying to manipulate my psyche of an independent working woman to that of a docile Indian bahu. I would cry my eyes out. She would sometimes snatch things of my hand. She would never let me cook my way. She would never allow me cook something different. It always had to be her way. There were many incidents where she commented things like

1. A girl’s house is also seen before marriage (since mine is a humble house)

2. She said you are not my daughter but daughter in law.

3. Once said ‘Zyada udo mat’ in front of her son.

4. She would constantly remind how they want a baby boy and not girl from that I should not even say that it be a baby girl.

5. She would tell me how much dowry she had brought with her.

6. She would say I wanted a working girl because dowry is one time while the girl will earn for a lifetime. [Link: Dulhan hi dahej hai]

7. Once she said I will fulfill all my wishes with your salary.[An email from an Indian MIL]

8. She also mentioned about other families where the daughters in law would give their salary to the parents in law.

I told my husband all of this and he ignored saying she just has this habit of talking nonsense.

During this time, my father was diagnosed with heart blockage and was advised to undergo a by-pass surgery. In which my in laws really helped me. Though they imposed a lot of things but I ignored.

Everything went of well, my parents stayed with us for 8 days and then left. My parents never wanted to stay with my in laws at the first place stating its a sensitive relationship and they didn’t want to spoil it for my future. But my in laws really imposed hard that my parents should stay with us post my father’s surgery. This because, my parents are from a small town and medical facilities are not so great there.

In the meantime I was also looking for a job. It was very difficult since I was at a high package with few years of experience because of my degree. Finding a similar job was being difficult. Also, not to forget that my mother in law would accompany me to my job interviews saying how would I find the place on my own. This to a person who stayed out of her house for 7 long years, who is treated as one of the smartest females, who is an Engineer and MBA by education. Nevertheless my constant efforts paid off and I finally found a job which was at a start up. I was so frustrated sitting at home that I took it up without thinking twice. That’s when the trouble began. I would cry because of the pressure at work and also because of my mother in law’s constant manipulation had started having an impact on me. I could no longer ignore it. I am an overly sensitive and emotional person. Then, one day I got back late around 9:15 PM. My usual time was 7:30 – 8:00. My MIL got over anxious, waited for me at the roadside outside the society compound stating what would people think if I am entering late all alone.

The next day I told my FIL that please explain MIL to not get worried since my job is such that I may get late sometimes. I told him since my husband would encourage me to discuss my MIL issues as he seemed like DIL supporting. To my surprise, he said this is not acceptable, you should leave home sharp at so and so time and be back by so and so time. Your career is secondary, our son’s career is primary. I was too disturbed, I told my husband and he ignored. I and my husband on a Sunday were watching a late night movie show that my mother in law texted saying be back soon otherwise FIL will be angry if you get up late and are not ready on time. I  was so upset that I showed my husband this text. He also got pissed off. The next day morning when he was leaving for office, he probably did not talk to his parents. When I was packing my tiffin, my MIL asked me why was my husband not talking to her. I was pretty irritated with her that I said ask him directly he is your son, why do you ask me. Hearing this she started fighting with me.

I reached office, I told my husband and my mom about this fight they told me to apologise to MIL, which I did on whatsapp. In the afternoon I got a call from my mom saying my MIL had called her and said how ill mannered is your daughter and said many other things. She also went on to complain to my husband’s grandmom who got out marriage fixed. Also, this was not the first time that she had gone on to complain about me. I would constantly get to know that she bitches about me but I would ignore. She would also bitch about me with the maid, neighbor, her friends and her in laws. I never ever told anyone what was going on at my in law’s place. I felt kind of betrayed. Not just this, when we returned from work that day, she made me, my husband and FIL sit and shouted at me. I also got very angry and retorted. She made remarks about my relatives. She also said that when maid doesn’t come I should do the cleaning of the house and do the utensils. I was never used to do this. Also, I have a back problem. I took it to my heart.

Since bad luck was riding on me, after a month and a half it turned out that the company that I was working for was a fraud one and they asked me to leave without paying a single dime. I was very very disturbed by now.

Then, I found another job soon enough which was close to my in law’s house. They made it an everyday routine to drop me to office. Everything was fine again and my mom called up my MIL to congratulate on my job and told her that now she will be tension free since she could repay her education loan. This became an issue since my husband hadn’t told his mother about it which I was not aware of. In the same week the maid hadn’t come so I did the entire house’s dusting, brooming and moping. I developed severe back pain. So much so that I had to visit the spinal injury’s center. MIL accompanied us since my husband is scared of visiting hospitals and cant go there without his mom. There we spent 2000 rupees on fee and medicines. The very same day I helped in the kitchen at night and was crying in pain at night. My husband screamed at his mom for asking me to help her. She must have got upset that she barred me from entering the kitchen next day.

The next day, my husband did not eat anything. I constantly kept asking him to eat and talk to his mom but to no avail. I also did not eat. I was so scared the entire day. MIL came to me and asked me to eat and feed DH. I obliged. It was a weekend. In order to have the husband in a better mood I asked to go out so he be normal. While he was taking out the car, FIL called on me very rudely. He started asking me questions about my salary and why had I not given it to him. Why had I not asked him on investment declarations. Also, he said I shouldn’t repay my loan and in his words – “apne baap ko bol fund me se nikal kar tera loan pay kare, aukat kya hai tere ma baap ki, car aur furniture bhi nahi hai tum logon ke paas” (As I said I belong to a humble background. Not like we can’t afford it but my parents chose not to since they invested heavily on my and my sister’s education) He said you lie to us we have proof of you lying. I asked him what lie are you talking about. He said I will tell you later. I said are you spying on me, he said I will. I said since you are older than me doesn’t mean you would insult me like this. This said and he went on and on screaming at me, insulting my parents, hurling abuses at me. In front of my husband. He tried to say things for me, but they were falling on deaf ears. He was siding me but to no avail. I was so dumbstruck that I could not utter a single word. I was so terrified and humiliated that I caught fever. My husband at night said I should apologise to his parents in the morning which I did!

Now, the real problem, my FIL doesn’t work. They had said they have a factory, but it doesn’t run. His mother is a homemaker and his younger brother is also not doing very well financially. Its my husband who is running the entire house. Before marriage we were not told about this. Also, their house is mortgaged. My husband pays the EMI for their house. With my job, they wanted me to give them the entire salary. My husband put his foot down and said he had promised me before marriage on letting me repay my loan. To take this stand he renounced food for a month. He did not talk to them during this period. I also suffered because I did have lunches and dinners at home. I would make some instant food for myself. Husband would say he’d eaten at office. My health deteriorated. During this entire episode, my mother got stroke because of all the issues that I was facing. I went to be with her for a week. I felt extremely guilty for her condition. Also,that place had become a living hell for me because of the hostile environment, the abusive nature of his father, his mother’s non-realistic expectations and my own work related issues. During this time my FIL asked me to give them half my salary and from the remaining half take care of my expenses and my loan amount. I told my husband and we had a major fight on this issue. He was still not eating at home. Then one fine day when I was at work and my husband and his mom at home, she convinced him to eat and talk saying we will do whatever you say. MY DH assured me everything is normal and the issue is taken care of. The next day was a weekend again. He gave his mom some money with extra 10000 saying this is hers. His mom threw it on his face and said we want it from her. I was not aware of this. A major fight happened. His father was not home and from wherever he was he called up my father scolding him. He also called my mother who was recovering from a STROKE! How heartless is that. My sister did not let her take the call though. He also called my grandmom screaming and shouting and what not! They wanted me to show them my salary slips and bank statements, give them half my salary. And this was the day when my husband said, “Do whatever my parents say!” What about all the promises he made!? What about his stand on my issue!?

I was so terrified that I left that house and I am living separately from him now. He helped me move out. He comes to meet me over the weekends. We fight a lot. I asked him to move out and stay with me. It’s been a year. He left me waiting, said he is looking for an accommodation but changed his mind altogether few days back. Now the state is such that everyone is asking me to come back but I am terrified. I have doubts on my husband’s decision making capabilities. His maternal uncle called us at his place and made me understand how normal it was in all the households whatever happened with me. I am just too shattered and can’t even think of moving back in with his family. I am in a fix! What should I do. I even contemplated a divorce. Would that be a good move? I have lost love and respect for my husband as he is easily manipulated by his parents and relatives. He is also of the belief now I should surrender and that what’s the harm in showing my financials to his parents. Where’s the trust factor? What kind of a man is he?

Not touching feet after a year of marriage is disrespect to MIL?

Display of respect for those who are considered higher in social and family hierarchy is a part of Indian culture.

The members who are lower in social and family hierarchy (also the less powerful) are required to display respect. 

Obedience, isolation, faith, tradition, guilt, emotional blackmail etc are used to enforce the display. 

A missing display could be a challenge. If not immediately controlled, it could embolden the rebel enough to question the inequality.

Which is why neglecting to touch feet of those who are entitled to have their feet touched is often taken very seriously. 

Patriarchy can’t survive without controlling the lowest in the social hierarchy.

Touching feet can also be used by non-believers, to falsely convey that they believe in Patriarchal Hierarchies of Respect. 

Would you consider the issues in this email trivial? What advice would you give to the email writer?

Sharing an email. [All emphasis mine.] 

Hello IHM,

Let me tell you that I googled for something on DIL’s (to know if there is something wrong with me or my in-laws) and luckily saw your blog and read a lot of stories of Indian DILs. I loved your blog and read the stories to boost up myself whenever I am depressed.

After reading so many stories, I also wanted to share my story after an incident at my in laws. I don’t know it is small or big.

Let me tell you the incident:

I got married last year to a family friend. My in-laws family was known to us. I am the choice of my MIL. She wanted a modern- traditional girl.

It’s almost one and half year after my marriage, and I feel like I have no good quality in me.

There were many taunts on my clothing, cooking etc etc. I kept quiet, never uttered anything. I used to cry in my room at night over such issues.

There were so many things of which I will definitely write to you in detail.

The incident I am talking about is about touching feet.

From the very first day in my new home, I myself touched feet of both my in-laws and said good morning and this is how it used to be every day since then.

My in-laws believe in Radhaswaomi, while my husband doesn’t and neither do I. He has a small mandir in a corner where he used to do his pooja and me too after marriage. It was weird for me to say Radhaswaomi (in which I don’t believe at all). I felt like someone was forcing me and I was not at all prepared to follow this.

I was even asked “subah uthke babaji ki aage matha tek liya karo” (Wake up in the morning and bow your head infront of babaji). I only used to do this for them. I was not connected to this thing and was uncomfortable. But I did this just for the sake of respect to my in-laws.

If they wanted their DIL to be like this, they should have married their son to a girl who believed in “Radhaswomi”.

After few months, on a weekend I forgot to touch their feet as I woke up little late. I literally forgot. She behaved very weird after that in that weekend. In weekdays we used to get up around 6 and face each other in the kitchen  and I always used to touch feet but it was weekend and somehow I forgot. I didn’t know the reason of her weirdness though. On the following weekday when I touched her feet, she said ” Paer na chua kar, Good morning na bol, koi baat nahi, radhaswaomi bol diya kar” (Don’t touch feet, don’t say good morning, it’s alright, say Radhaswami).  I tried doing this also but somehow couldn’t. It was difficult for me still I did with a half-heart. You know it’s very difficult to do such a thing when your heart doesn’t allow you. I am showing respect by touching feet and saying good morning in the morning. Now this they don’t like this, they want me to greet them in the morning as they want.

She complained to my husband about this and said that I am angry with her and that’s why I didn’t touch her feet. And when my husband questioned to me about this, I have no answer as I was not angry with her for any reason and just simply forgot.

Still I touched feet everyday, and whenever by mistake I forgot, she complained to my husband and he used to ask me, “How can you forget this thing?” We used to fight over this single issue (my husband and me) most of the time.

Days passed, with a lot of other things, taunts on other issues. I kept my mouth shut. I used to cry in my room at night. I never uttered a word in front of them, never showed disrespect to them. I shared my grudges with my husband only. He is nice, loving, caring but he can’t say anything to his parents even if they are wrong.

After 10 months of marriage, I had a miscarriage (pregnancy of 1 month) and was asked for one month bedrest for which I stayed with my parents for two weeks and after I came back , my FIL was hospitalised, and etc etc. And I stopped touching their feet somehow, it happened automatically and I never planned or thought of not touching their feet.

After that I completely stopped it thinking it’s been almost a year now, and if I forget any day then she will complain to my husband and we will fight over this single issue again and again. It’s better to leave it now. And I thought I am also a member of the family now.

Though I never forgot to touch feet on any ‘occasion’; or whenever I went to my home for a stay, and when I came back.

Everything was going normal (though other issues were there), after 3-4 months she complained to my husband about this.

He asked me.

I said, “I have stopped doing this now for quite a long time, and you know the reason behind this. I don’t want to start it again.”

Then again after few days, she complained to my husband. Now he fights over this with me, always asks me to wish her in the morning. She said, “If she doesn’t touch feet, then she should say Radhaswomi”.

He again fought with me and then again she complained, He said to his mom then,  “She cant say ‘Radhaswomi’, you cant force her to say that when I also don’t.”

Then they came up with, “Ok then, she can say good morning”.

My concern is, there are 4 members in the family, the 3 don’t wish each other in the morning and why is there a rule for the 4th one? When I used to wish Good morning, then they had a problem with that and because of that I stopped saying “good morning”.

Though I tried for my husband’s sake, one day I came out of my room in the morning and both my in-laws are having morning tea. MIL’s back was towards me, I said Good morning, my FIL responded but she didn’t utter a single word. I felt like a fool. She has ego problem. (my husband agrees with this).

Even after so many things I tried, but nahi hua mujhse (I just can’t do it). I don’t know why but when someone forces me to do something , I can’t.

Now, what she did recently. She called my Husband’s Aunt (who is also known to my family really well). She complained to her that I don’t wish her and said I don’t work at home at all. (which is completely false) That Aunt called my husband and said, “Your mom called me she was really distressed as she (the DIL) doesn’t wish her everyday in the morning and she doesn’t do household work.”

My husband was in office, he just said, “She does house hold stuff. I will talk to her.” But my husband never talked to me about this. He just asked me to wish her in the morning and again a fight over this issue happened. I had my own reasons and I didn’t want to start it now.

It is disgusting to force someone to ask for respect in this way. They can’t see I never misbehaved, I always obeyed them, etc etc.

When I got to know that she discussed this with this Aunt and I went into depression, I cried the whole night. That aunt is also close to me and I had a really good impression on her. And moreover MIL warned me just after marriage not to share any ghar ki koi baat (family affairs) with her as it won’t look good. I always wanted to share my problems with my in-laws with this Aunt but I never did as I had been warned by my MIL. And she insulted me by calling Aunt and complaining about me.

I told my husband that I knew about this but I never told him the name of the person who told me the discussion of MIL and Aunt (that person is very trustworthy and very close to me).

For 3-4 days I was pissed off, I alone know how I spent those days. On the following Sunday, my husband discussed this in front of me and MIL.

She said she never said I didn’t work, koi aag laga raha hai. (somebody is trying to create trouble) I am 100% sure that she said these things to this aunt. Then she said, “ye bhi jaake mere baare me bol de usko, vo jaanti hai main kaisi hu.” etc etc. (She too can go and talk about me to that aunt, she knows how I am.)

Just after this incident they left for a month on a planned trip abroad, to stay with my brother-in-law.

I am really pissed off with all this now and simply just don’t want to stay with them. But I have no other option.

What wrong have I done ?

Thanks,

NM

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I could not sing after my marriage and I am really sad about it, but women have to ‘adjust’ to see their family happy…

“How can you eat without taking a shower? With boys, it’s a different matter.”

Joint Family and Indian Daughters

“I had written an email about being a DIL in the joint family, I am happy to share my current state …”

An email from a DIL living in a Joint Family: Should I adjust or should I leave?

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

“How can you eat without taking a shower? With boys, it’s a different matter.”

Letting an outsider see or comment upon our imperfections is washing dirty linen in public?

Marriage Vs Live in Relationships : Twelve points to note.

Simple methods, recommended to anybody else, coping with any other kind of abuse, are forbidden to Indian daughters in law. Forbidden by whom?

The invisible family member in the saas-bahu post.

An email: “We dont want our sons to suffer because there will saas bahu drama in the house do we?”

An email: My principal fear is my wife is not going to be able to love my parents as much as I do.

“My husband would tell me to stay with my in laws for some more time and that he didn’t want any discussions.”

Here is a heart breaking example of how Patriarchy enables abuse.

What made it possible for this husband to demand that the wife lives with his parents and helps them with their business – against her wishes? How common are such expectations? 

What do you think should the email writer do?

Also – shouldn’t there be legal assurance of financial support for every child, whether or not the parents live together? 

Hi..

I am sharing my story here. I am really distressed and I wish you could post my story in your blog.

so here it is..

So I stay with my husband in South India and my in laws ( ILs) stay in Haryana. When I was pregnant, my husband forced me to stay with ILs. I was treated very badly by them, specially by my MIL. They were never very nice to me in the past, but I never, in my worst dreams, imagined the things I had to go through. I used to tell my husband everything on phone and he would just say that he’d talk to his parents and that I should also adjust. I cried/ pleaded/begged him lots of times to let me come back to him but he was like a stone. He told me once that if I only complain all the time then he would stop calling me or picking up my calls.

He promised me that when the baby is 2-3 months old I’d move back with him. But he betrayed me even then. He is doing a course which is 3 years long. Now he asked me to stay with ILs for all these years. For the sake of baby’s care and that his father needed me for family business.

All these plans and decisions were taken after discussions between my husband and my fil. I wasn’t even asked. Only when I used to ask if I could come back he would tell me to stay for some more time and that he didn’t want any discussions. Finally one evening my ILs crossed the line and my patience ran off. I couldn’t take their constant abuse so I left and went to my parents’ place in Delhi. My husband told me that this meant separation. that now I can never come back to him. I said okay. I was prepared. although I messaged him after a week or so asking if we could find a middle way.. that I would never live with his parents but may be we can live in the same building on different floors… and that he also has some responsibility towards his own 3 month old son and wife, his reply was cold and he just said that he wished I knew what I was doing while leaving his parents’ house.

We didn’t speak for one month. And I was taking all this very well. After a month he started calling. Then he and his family came to get me back and apologised.

As a fool I agreed but asked him to make a few promises. He made me resign from the job I had got in Delhi without even serving the notice period as he said that he had suffered a lot in the previous one month and now he can’t even stay away from me for one more day.

We came back to South India and started living normally. However his behaviour started changing again. He started breaking all the promises that he made. He again started taking me and my feelings for granted.

His family again started interfering and bothering us by complaining on small silly things. By bad mouthing me about me to him on phone and making issues about every small thing.

After 3 months we went back to ILs place for some function. I was again treated very badly by my MIL and just one night before we were supposed to come back my FIL said that all the things that they said when they came to get me back and their apologies etc was all a drama. They didn’t mean a thing. It was all just to get me back. and that now I should apologise for doing this bad deed of leaving the family. My husband was there when all this was going on and his dad kept on abusing me. How I wasn’t brought up properly and I had no values or I don’t know the way to be a good dil. etc etc.

I went into depression and had to take therapy after coming back. That too without letting my husband know.

Now I have developed serious trust issues with my husband. We are supposed to go back to stay with ILs coz of family business after 2 years and I feel my husband is again going to throw me under the bus when the time comes. I am scared to go back to that place. I have been harassed there very badly. Everyone gets on one side and attack me. That’s the kind of emotional abuse that I just have no tolerance for anymore. And I used to be very strong before.

I don’t know what to do.

Should I leave him right now?

Should I wait for 2 years and see what happens.. In this case my baby will become emotionally attached to his father and it’ll be difficult for me to separate them then. Also, I’ll have no savings of my own as I am spending every penny of what I am earning right now on us. My husband is still studying and it’ll be another betrayal..  I am not sure how I’ll take it then.

How foolish is it to trust a person who has always betrayed me?
He gets emotional about our relation only when he wants to. The times when I need him he is always cold and unavailable.

I feel lonely most of the time even in his presence. He hardly ever wants to spend time with me. He calls someone or the other everytime he is free.
We have a very sad sex life and I know for sure that he watches porn to satisfy himself.

He never helps out with the baby. only plays with him for sometime but doesn’t help me out for anything.
He is extremely selfish.
He says he loves me but it doesn’t show in his actions.
Should I consider divorce? Are all men like this? Are my expectations too high if I want a partner who truly is a partner and not just a person living with you without any real feelings?

I want to live my life happily. Is it possible with this person? We had a love marriage and now I can’t find the person I loved. it was all fake.

Related email:

An email: “My in laws want me to stay here with them while my husband works in another city.”

Other related posts:

Marriages are sold to Indian women in a glossy cover…?

A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.

Indian women and their Easy Wealth.

‘Last month, my sister’s husband picked a fight with her as he felt she was not doing enough for his parents.’

“I thought it would indeed be wonderful to live with my in-laws.”

“I will never live in a joint family, it has its roots in patriarchy and benefits only men.”

Simple methods, recommended to anybody else, coping with any other kind of abuse, are forbidden to Indian daughters in law. Forbidden by whom?

While I agree with everything in the video shared below, I hesitated in sharing it because the discussion leaves out the one person without whom such abuse would not ever be possible.

I believe Indian women would not have to deal with most of the in laws issues if they were permitted (or just left alone) – mainly by their spouse, to cope with them in their own ways.

Some of the methods (simple, common sense) that are recommended to anybody and everybody else coping with any other kind of abusive relationships (or healthy relationships), are forbidden to Indian daughters in law – by whom? Mainly by their husbands.

Most women who do not face abuse by in laws are those where the husbands do not demand that they get along, impress, compromise, display ‘respect’ or obey their parents/extended families. (Such men risk being labelled Joru Ka Gulaam) The parents and extended families realise that abuse would not be silently supported by the JKG. [link]

That’s all it really takes. Letting adults deal with each other as equals.

What kind of coping methods are forbidden to Indian daughters in law?

What would you do to anybody else who attempts to control, bully, harass, demean or humiliate you? Avoid them, at the least? Ignore them? Create a distance? Have nothing to do with them?

Some of us might choose to tell them why we find the abuse offensive? This might require asking questions and giving opinions?

But most women – married Indian women, are denied even validation.

Not only must they not complain or question, they must actually attempt to ‘win over the heart’ of someone who is being manipulative or blatantly abusive. And who empowers these abusers? Who has the most power to end such abuse? What would Indian daughters in law do if they were not restricted by someone they believe loves them – the only person they are actually married to? (no matter what he claims)

What if these Indian Shravan Kumars were not given the option of enforcing obedience and displays of ‘respect’ on their spouse?

Or if Indian women did not view Getting Married and Staying Married as the only goal in their lives? If a successful divorce was seen as a new beginning. If staying single was acknowledged as an option.

It would, eventually create a fairer society where everybody who wishes to get  along with anybody would have the option of being decent to them.  There would be no entitlement to enforced displays of respect.

So basically there would be no Saas Bahu issues if there were more Joru Ke Gulaam who married their wives, and not their parents’ daughters in law.

Video shared by Sangitha and Mansi.

Related Posts:

So who is eating the the gajar ka halwa that the daughter in laws are was not permitted to eat? 

An email from an anonymous Confused Wife.

To an Anonymous Daughter in law.

No jeans for an Indian Daughter in law.

“My husband says he can’t go against his family. My father says study but not without your FIL’s permission.”

Please watch Queen. Feels like our country is finally changing.

“I have to seek permission for visiting parents. My phone bill has to be reasonable. My expenses nominal. And my desires non-existent.”

“When wives become too possesive of her husbands and do not want the affection to be shared with their near and dear…”

Of girly men who fail to convert irresponsible women from liabilities to assets.

Skewed sex ratio is not caused by sex selective abortions.

My husband gives me the usual ‘you have not just married me, you have married my family..’ sermon

Shravan Kumar takes his wife to London to bring back her smile…

From the modern, Indian woman to Shravan Kumar.

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

The JKG: Joru Ka Gulaam

‘Unbelievable? Believe it. This isn’t your usual Ekta Kapoor serial.’

You’re going to be with your in-laws for only a few days in a year so why can’t you live the way they want and keep every one happy?

‘Last month, my sister’s husband picked a fight with her as he felt she was not doing enough for his parents.’

“I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.”

When a newly married Indian woman gives up her career, what else does she give up?

‘His family seems a bit traditional type.I googled “how to behave with in laws after marriage in India.’

“Leaving US is a tough decision and, going back to live with in-laws has scared and shaken me.”

No Gajar Ka Halwa for an Indian Daughter in law?

From an Anonymous DIL, Wife and Daughter.

‘His family seems a bit traditional type.I googled “how to behave with in laws after marriage in India.’

Because of my initial submissiveness, my husband and his family volunteer to take care of my chores, to let me resume my career.

‘I am not really sure why is it the duty of a new bride to adjust no matter what you feel?’

An email: ‘He made it clear to them he will not marry me without their support. He will not leave them behind… ever.’

 

 

An email: ‘My MIL called up my aunt and my mother and told them that our family has raised horrible daughters.’

Sharing an email. Is it possible for something like this to happen without atleast some amount of social and cultural sanction? 

Also, do you think such Patriarchal controls could survive without women being pressurised to Get Married and Stay Married?

Dear IHM,

I wrote to you a couple of months ago [July 4, 2014] about how my in laws were not talking to me, because I wanted to visit my mother for my father’s death ceremony. Since then, my MIL called up my aunt and my mother and told them that our family has raised horrible daughters and that we are arrogant girls who think we are “birlas”. She pulled in my sister too, claiming that she had had an abortion (probably a miscarriage… I do not know… she never wanted to share). I do not have a biological child, and I wonder what she was hinting at. I am really hurt and am at odds. How do I react/ what do I do? Can you please publish this on the forum?

And, this message in a comment from July 4, 2014,

My story is similar… I had emailed IHM, but I guess I could not wait. I have been married to a very nice guy for the past seven years. We recently adopted a nine-month old baby and life has been just awesome. I lost my father quite some time ago and was really attached to him. A couple of days ago, my mother told me his death ceremony was coming up. So I planned to go to my place ( in another city, where my in-laws live too ). My in-laws stay on another end of the city, so I would not be able to visit them this time, with the baby in tow. They created a huge scene, saying I was disrespectful and that I was not following the “rites”. I really want to spend time with my mother this time, especially on a day that makes her sad, but my in-laws are acting as if I am committing a crime. Even earlier, my MIL has complained about the one or two days I would spend with my mother when we visited them. She has threatened suicide now and has even told my husband that he’s going to my mother’s place (he’s there only to drop me off, after that, he’s back for he’s busy with work) because my mother lent us money towards construction of our new home. The husband is very angry at this accusation (we have supported them through their joblessness/ money crises) and refuses to speak to them. I don’t want to either, for I really want to be with my family this time and that too after nearly 4 years.

Am I justified in not wanting to apologise (I wasn’t rude to them, I just told them plainly what I wanted to do)

 

Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai?

Tradition, family values and custom are often used to enforce something (convenient for the enforcer) that  seems to defy logic, fair play or common sense. 

Which is why we hear things like, “Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai”, which roughly translates to – After marriage, a girl’s priorities change in favour of her sasural or marital home.

And since many get away with this sort of abuse, we have a Skewed Gender Ratio.

Because, only when Indian parents are in a position to view their daughters as their own children (and not as future daughters in law) would they be able to Want, Welcome and Enjoy having and bringing up their girl children. [link].

Sharing an email. 

Dear Indian homemaker,

I need help from you and other readers. If you can kindly share my story.
Here’s what’s bothering me soooooooo much:-
I am a working woman and my mother in law is driving me CRAZY.
According to my mother in law after my marriage I am not allowed to do any “seva/support” towards my widow mother. It’s all my brother’s responsibility.
I have to do EVERYTHING for my in laws now on since I am married.
I have to wake up at the time my mother in law thinks is appropriate, do things around the house (household chores), am not allowed to talk back, am not allowed to have a mind of my own, get loads of gold from my mom .
What I am simply not able to understand is :- why am I not allowed to do seva for my mother? After all it’s my mother who has given me life and not my in laws.
My mother never discriminated between her son and daughter. Not in any manner. Gave both the same love, educational opportunities, food, clothing, basically everything.
My logic is this:- it’s my mother who gave me life, raised me, spent crores on my education to make me a successful career woman, basically from A TO Z did EVERYTHING a parent can do and beyond for me . While within 3 weeks of marriage if my mother demands unconditional devotion towards herself:- the way I see it :- she has not done ANYTHING for me; she has not given me life, has not raised me, spent crores on my education.
I am NOT against doing ” seva” for my in laws.
But I do NOT understand why it is only my brother’s responsibility to look after my widow mother in her old age, and age related diseases.
I need to point out that my brother lives in USA . While my mother and mother in law both live in the same city in India.

Common sense is telling me my mother in law is the most selfish person on the planet and I am hating her more and more by the day.

Even to meet my mother; my mother in law expects a three step process :-
1) my mother has to take permission from my mother in law.
2) I have to take permission from my mother in law. (though with all the bitterness that is growing inside me, u feel like calling her monster in law and not mother in law).
3) I have to take permission from my husband in order to see my mother.
I am a cosmopolitan girl with a very liberal progressive outlook.
All this seems like total and absolute gibberish to me. Her views. Her expectations. Her demands. They do not make any sense to me .
Cause it totally defies all logic and common sense.

But I am still writing this letter to you in DESPERATION cause I am losing my peace of mind and sanity trying to understand the monster in law. I swear I will go insane if I keep all that’s going on bottled up inside me. According to my viewpoint :- am more than willing to give my in laws respect, care, live, understanding, help in their old age. Support in any and every manner.

But why would I not do the same for my mother?
Agreed I am married.
But my mother is not dead to me.
My gratitude towards her is not dead.
Why is it only my brothers responsibility to look after her? Also him living in USA for professional reasons makes it harder for him to be there for her as much as I can as both my MAIKA and sasuraal are here in the same city.
Basically my monster in law keeps repeating the same thing over and over again.

She says :-” Shadi ke baad ladki ki PRIORITY sasuraal ki taraf ho jaati hai”.

I have not heard this saying before. But monster in law keeps repeating that over and over and over again .
My question to you is, is that a commonly heard saying?
And even if it is :- I do not understand the LOGIC behind it . Cause within 3 weeks of marriage, REALISTICALLY speaking I will not be more in love with my in laws than my own mother. [link] And isn’t the person we love more going to be our priority?
Isn’t the person we have MOST gratitude towards going to be our priority??
Also I need to add :- isn’t the gravity of the situation going to determine who our priority will be??
My mother has to undergo a MAJOR life threatening operation. What I am trying to say it’s a surgery in which there are chances of mortality (death) and morbidity.
While my monster in law only needs me in sasuraal to cook. I agree my monster in law also does not keep good health . But there are other male members in the family. Why can’t they help her in the cooking or hire a maid or get tiffin service? They have enough money, by the way, to be able to afford tiffin or maid .

But my evil monster in law keeps saying :- it’s my brother’s responsibility .

My brother cannot come to India cause his infant child is not well at all.
There’s way too much more I need to write; but honestly I am totally going crazy with all this stress.
Am simply not able to understand why it is only my brother’s responsibility?
Why do I need permission from anyone to see my own mother?

Why should sasuraal be priority whilst the gratitude lies towards MAIKA ??

What is the logic behind it all???
It does not make any sense to me???
Please please help.
I want honest opinion of yours and of readers.
Also I think it’s worth mentioning that the monster in law who keeps giving me all these lectures about sasuraal being priority :- she herself never stayed in her sasuraal, lived in a nuclear family :-  did not allow her husband to send money home to her husband’s parents in village, did not care for her in laws in their old age, did not allow her husband’s siblings to come stay with them while they desperately needed to!
So am I right to conclude that she is a super selfish woman who only thinks about what’s convenient for her?
And even if she’s the kind of person who believes that I am ” parayee” for my mother now that I am married :- then why expect gold from my mother for sasuraal if I am parayee now? My monster in law says :- ” ladki to jab bhi Maike jaati hai, Kuch na Kuch leke hi aati hai apne yahaan se gold ka”.
Regards,
An Anonymous DIL
Related Posts :

“My story is not an extreme case of abuse or discrimination unlike some stories shared on your blog, but it makes me deeply angry and resentful nonetheless.”

Sharing an email.

Hi IHM,

I have admired your blog posts for over 2 years now and the fact that you have taken up the issue of gender discrimination especially post marriage which is a very under talked, under debated, swept under the carpet kind of issue.

I wanted to share my story which is not an extreme case of abuse or discrimination unlike some stories shared on your blog, but it makes me deeply angry and resentful nonetheless. I am fed up of being told that I have a perfect life compared to many others, that I am making a mountain of a molehill and fed up of the low expectations from the boy and his parents.

Mine is a love marriage and we met 5 years back and tied the knot this year. My husband is a really great guy who was always respectful and and had great regard for a person’s private space and agency. But,like most indian guys he’s devoted to his parents in an illogical manner i.e. everything they say must be carried out and he cannot make them unhappy by arguing, debating even if they are wrong.

I was aware that his parents are a lot more conservative than mine, but was not bothered that much as we are staying in a different city from them. But, what happened during the 3 days we stayed after marriage with them makes me very resentful and incapable of having a decent relationship with them.

For innocuous comments like ‘I don’t know the tv in your house, I am only familiar with the tv in my house’, I was given 18th century replies like ‘This is your house now, you have to sit, eat and drink here’. It made me feel like a bought slave whereas I am as educated as my husband and doing very well in life financially and otherwise. I consider myself strong, confident and independent and was not used to this kind of humiliation.

I went outside their house to bid goodbye to their relatives and was shooed inside by my MIL like cattle because I was not wearing the customary wedding bangles(chooda) and so what will the neighbours say!

I chose to ignore all this ,but the breaking point came when I was going to go to my parents house the last night(they live in the same city) and my MIL demanded that I return to their house the next day and go the airport for my honeymoon from their place as supposedly this is my place now. I just nodded and made an excuse the next day that I am not feeling well and hence going to airport from my place only. Usually, I do not take this kind of approach and I am direct and frank, but decided not to take any chances of any fight erupting.But it still did. Not giving a damn that their son is going on his honeymoon and that it is the best time of our lives, they scolded,cursed him on the way to the airport and for the first time in our relationship he used abusive language with me and behaved like a typical MCP, momma’s boy that I never dreamed he could be. I fought back and asserted that this is not the person I married and if he continues like this, our marriage will be in serious trouble. Since then, he has not behaved like that again. He actively participates in all household chores, in fact does a bit more than me,he’s being the model husband. But, his parents will not get off my back. His dad started talking aggressively to me on that the phone, dictating when and on what occasions i ‘have to’ come to visit them. They have the typical boy’s parents attitude that what they say, I have to do, no choice and it makes me crazy angry and determined not to do listen to even the basic requests.

My parents were planning to visit us this month. When they came to know, they started a crazy race out of the blue to book their tickets for a week prior to my parents’ visit as they are the boy’s parents, they have to come first to our place.

All this has made me disgusted and my husband knows this. Even though he doesn’t say anything, I wonder if resents my attitude to his parents. Also, I have no idea how to deal with his parents when they visit us. Normally people who I don’t like, I totally ignore and feel no obligation to interact with them. But I can’t do it in this case. I also have a very short temper and very less tolerance towards medieval attitudes like women must change their name, personality, parents blah blah blah after marriage. Please advice me on how to deal with such regressive people who are supposed to be your family but do not treat you like a human being but like an acquired property. I do not want to hurt my husband too and I am getting sucked into a web of resentment and anger day by day.

Thanks for caring about the lives of anonymous people.

Regards,

A

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So, what makes forgiving, forgetting and moving on difficult sometimes?

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“I have no other option than to move in with my very orthodox in laws. I need tips to not get hurt.”

1. If a challenging situation can’t be changed, then one of the positive things to do would be to find constructive ways to deal with it. Agree?

2. At the same time, hopefully, and even more positively, never giving up and still continuing to look for ways to change the situation – because change won’t happen unless we consciously work to bring it.

How does this email writer achieve both?

Sharing an email.

Dear IHM,

I am an avid reader of your blog. It is only because of your blog I know what feminism is and how patriarchal I was though I considered myself modern. I wish I had discovered this blog before marriage.

I have mailed you in the past and your blog has changed me and helped a lot.

I’m not sure if its okay for you that I am mailing so many times. If so, please let me know.

My issue is: we are planning to move into my laws house in few months. We had fights regarding this as their family is very orthodox. The main problem is his father doesn’t talk to me from the beginning. I feel it will be awkward when we move in there. Also silent treatment is something that hurts me the most and I have received it from many people including from my husband.

Do you think it will be fine after we move in there? I am confused. To be honest, I have no other option than to move in to in laws house. Do you think of any idea or tips I should follow to not get hurt.

One incident that happened: recently, we and his family along with his two sisters went to purchase dress for the house warming ceremony. I offered biscuits to them and when I gave it to him, he just looked away. Nobody said anything. I broke down. But no one saw me crying. Me and my husband were not in good terms so I didn’t tell him too..

I am scared to face any more incidents like this.

Can you suggest me ideas?

Thank you very much, IHM

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“I had written an email about being a DIL in the joint family, I am happy to share my current state …”

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An email from a Newly Wed Wife. “Now they don’t like me.”

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

Only when raising ideal daughters in law is not their goal, would Indian parents be able enjoy having and bringing up girl children.